PHOENIX - Officials with the Arizona Lottery say a Powerball ticket worth $1 million expired on Nov. 18, as no one came forward to claim it.
According to a statement released on Oct. 19, a Powerball ticket that was purchased on May 21 at a Circle K store near Shea Boulevard and Scottsdale Road won a $1 million prize for a drawing on May 22.
"The winning ticket matched five numbers but did not match the red Powerball to hit the jackpot," read a portion of the statement.
According to the Arizona Lottery website, the winning numbers for Powerball on May 22 are 3, 19, 27, 37, and 40. The Powerball is 8.
Lottery officials say tickets are valid for up to 180 days after drawings take place.
John Gilliland with the Arizona Lottery says not claiming a prize this big is rare.
"Hate to see this one go unclaimed," said Gilliland. "We want players to claim their prizes because not only is it life-changing money, but they change the lives in their community because that’s an economic engine for their whole area."
"You've got to be stupid to throw away a million-dollar ticket, or you’re not paying attention," said Clark Johnson of Phoenix. He won $1,000 on Oct. 19, and nearly $200,000 a few weeks prior.
Lottery officials say people should search for the ticket.
"The chances are they weren't going to win that in the first place, so they've already beaten the odds once. Beat the odds again by finding that ticket," said Gilliland.
Lottery officials list unclaimed prizes
On its website, Arizona Lottery officials list a number of unclaimed lottery winnings besides the $1 million ticket mentioned above, as of Oct. 19:
- A $50,000 prize from a Powerball drawing on Aug. 30, 2021. The ticket is set to expire on Feb. 26, 2022.
- A $50,000 prize from a Powerball drawing on Sept. 4, 2021. The ticket is set to expire on March 3, 2022.
- A $50,000 prize from a Powerball drawing on Sept. 13, 2021. The ticket is set to expire on March 12, 2022.
- A $10,000 prize from a Mega Millions drawing on Sept. 17, 2021. The ticket is set to expire on March 16, 2022.
- A $50,000 prize from a Powerball drawing on Oct. 4, 2021. The ticket is set to expire on April 2, 2022.
- A $50,000 prize from a Powerball drawing on Oct. 16, 2021. The ticket is set to expire on April 14, 2022.
The website does not give any information on when and where the tickets were bought.
What happens to unclaimed lottery prize money?
According to lottery officials, nearly $16.5 million dollars in lottery winnings went unclaimed in Fiscal Year 2021. In 2018, $11 million reportedly went unclaimed, and in 2019, the number was $11.7 million. 2020 saw $26 million going unclaimed, but that is because of a single $14.9 million prize that went unclaimed.
Arizona Lottery officials, in a statement, detailed where the unclaimed prize money went for Fiscal Year 2021.
"30% of that, or almost $5 Million, went to Court Appointed Special Advocates, or CASA, a program where volunteers are appointed by a judge to speak on behalf of abused and neglected children in court. $250,000 went to the Dual Tribal Enrollment Fund and a total of $1 million went to the Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) task force and Victims’ Rights Fund. The remaining unclaimed prize money was used to fund prizes for new games as well as several Arizona Lottery Players Club drawings, creating additional opportunities for players to win with qualifying ticket entries," read a portion of the statement.
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